Speeches by the Prime Minister

PM Holness Remarks at the 1st Extraordinary Inter-Sessional Summit of the OACPS
PM Holness Statement: Government Finalizing Negotiation to Repatriate Jamaicans
Statement from Prime Minister Andrew Holness
Policy Statement – Prime Minister of Jamaica The Most Honourable Andrew Holness, ON, MP at the General Debate – 74Th Session of the United Nations General Assembly New York, 27th September 2019
Intervention by Prime Minister of Jamaica the Most Hon Andrew Holness, ON, MP at the EU-UN Spotlight Initiative High Level Event: Progress and Perspectives on Eliminating Violence Against Women and Girls, UNGA, New York

Prime Minister Statement at the 9th Summit of Americas in Los Angeles, California 10th June 2022

June, 13 2022
Theme: Building a Sustainable, Resilient, and Equitable Future Excellencies, Colleague Heads It is a pleasure to be here in the wonderful city of Los Angeles for this Ninth Summit of the Americas, and to join fellow leaders from across the hemisphere, recommitting to our shared values, forging new solutions to common challenges, and undertaking realistic actions in support of Building a Sustainable, Resilient, and Equitable Future. I thank the United States and the City of Los Angeles, for the arrangements made to host this significant Summit. I also commend the Biden-Harris Administration for its leadership of the Summit process, and for its general posture of listening and paying attention to the particular concerns and challenges of small developing states within the hemisphere. Excellencies, The COVID-19 pandemic, the climate crisis, the conflict in Europe and the consequential impact on supply chains, food and energy security, are challenging the order of the world as we know it.  All the countries here, regardless of economic size and institutional maturity, have been affected by the same challenges. These challenges have led to the erosion of hard-won developmental gains. While, thankfully, Jamaica has been able to see some sustained growth over 6 quarters, predicted levels of…

Prime Minister Andrew Holness Labour Day Message 2022

June, 01 2022
Our workers are the backbone of our country; they keep the wheels of our economy turning. We know that our continued economic recovery is dependent on our people, and we are committed to preserving the hard-won rights and liberties of the Jamaican worker to include, proper wages and working conditions. The Government is actively pursuing ways to increase workers’ benefits, for example, we are examining the feasibility of implementing Unemployment Insurance in Jamaica, to assist workers who become unemployed, through no fault of their own. This would temporarily provide workers with partial income relief while they search for new employment. Additionally, Unemployment Insurance support would facilitate the acquisition of new skills to increase and improve their employability in the job market. Of course, the most important role of government for workers is to ensure that the economy is growing and generating employment. Jamaica is recovering from the fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic. The economy is growing, and more and more jobs have been created.  Jamaica’s unemployment rate of 6.2% in January 2022 is the lowest ever recorded in Jamaica’s history.  In spite of turbulent times, Jamaica is still heading in the right direction.  This shows the strength of our macroeconomy and…


May, 12 2022
The Government of Jamaica nominated Senator the Honourable Kamina Johnson Smith, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade for the post of Secretary General of the Commonwealth. A decision on appointment to that leadership position will be made collectively by Heads of State and Government at their meeting (CHOGM) in Kigali, Rwanda in the week of 20th June 2022. The nomination was put forward in a context where a change of leadership was clearly deemed desirable by Member States across regions. In fact, over time, two Member States (Kenya and Tuvalu) announced candidatures for the post of Secretary-General, signalling the pursuit of change by two regions (Africa and the Pacific). Kenya’s candidature was recently withdrawn, with an expressed hope that another candidate would come forward. Jamaica’s final decision to put forward the candidature of its Foreign Minister, Senator Johnson Smith was made in this context, and on the strength of the Government’s confidence that she has the full range of competencies to effectively lead the Commonwealth agenda, at this time. In recent weeks, Minister Johnson Smith has engaged with high-level leadership across five Commonwealth regions. She has been greatly encouraged by quiet and public expressions of support, as well as discussions,…


February, 10 2022
Throne Speech 2022

Keynote Address – Opening Ceremony for Jamaica Stock Exchange 17th Regional Investments and Capital Markets Conference On January 25, 2022

January, 27 2022
Thank you very much, Michael Anthony Cuffe. Let me acknowledge Pastor Adrian Johnson for his prayers earlier on. I know you probably have online the Honourable Phillip Pierre, Prime Minister of St Lucia and there might be other dignitaries online. Let me acknowledge Senator the Honourable Aubyn Hill, Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce. Mr Denzel Douglas, Leader of the Opposition of St Kitts and Nevis. Paula Cox, Minister of Finance, former premier of Bermuda Other members of the diplomatic corps and the consular corps Mr Julian Mair, Chairman of the Jamaica Stock Exchange Members of the board of the Jamaica Stock Exchange And the Jamaica Central Securities Depository (JCSD) Mr Steven Gooden, Chief Executive Officer, NCB Capital Markets Dr Marlene Street Forrest, Managing Director of the Jamaica Stock Exchange Our good friend, Mr Gregory Fisher, managing director and head of Emerging Markets, Fixed Income & Wealth Management at Jefferies And Mr David Zervos, Managing Director Chief Market Strategist of Jeffries Heads of regional stock exchanges, executive chairmen and heads of private sector groups Mr Andre Gooden, Group Business Development Manager of the Jamaica Stock Exchange Specially invited guests Members of the media Ladies and gentlemen, good evening. And you thought I was going to do this, keep my…

Official Opening of the New Headquarters of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade on January 19, 2022

January, 27 2022
I can report, but all protocols have been observed. There is an argument circulating, which I thought was complete, that there are no measures in place to address the current wave but when I entered this place, I sanitized my hands which is required and which most businesses do, and I encourage them to continue to do so. I noticed the physical distance maintained in gatherings and that is still required under the DRMA. I noticed that great effort was made to ensure that no more than 50 persons are gathered here. I did not ask the permanent secretary as to whether or not they were all vaccinated, but the rule for government events are that everyone who is present must certify their vaccination status, meaning present your vaccination card beforehand, and I see the permanent secretary nodding that the rule was followed. And I noticed that everyone is wearing their mask but in a specific way, I noticed that even at the microphone, which it is permitted that if you were singing or speaking, we could allow the removal of the mask. We had a lovely song presented and the singer kept her mask on and did an excellent…

Swearing-in of New Ministers On January 11, 2022

January, 11 2022
His Excellency the Most Honourable Sir Patrick Allen, newly minted Ministers; I'm not sure if I should say congratulations, some may even say it's commiserations but you have been chosen because I have confidence in you that you will be able to accomplish the tasks set for you. Our newly sworn-in Minister of Legal and Constitutional Affairs, you have a major task in front of you to reform Jamaica's laws, to start the process of reviewing our constitution and indeed the conversation has already begun about our status as a constitutional monarchy and the change that we would all like to see, but there is a process to achieving that and we want to make sure that we order all our steps appropriately and you will have the task of guiding that from the executive perspective. Increasingly Jamaica is required to comply with our international obligations, which oftentimes mean legislation and such legislation can sometimes be inconsistent with our own legal framework and our constitution and so greater effort would have to be put in to ensure that when we are required by virtue our treaties and other such things that we are signing onto, that when we do pass our…

Prime Minister Andrew Holness New Year’s Day Message 2022

January, 01 2022
I am sure we are all breathing a collective sigh of relief that we made it through one of the most challenging years; globally, nationally, and personally, in our lifetimes.  As Jamaica, like the world, tried to protect our population from the deadly virus, through measures such as curfews, lockdowns, mask-wearing and vaccination, these very measures which have kept us safe, have also disrupted our social routines, disrupted supply chains, disrupted livelihoods, and imposed on our freedoms. Globally, supply chain disruptions have caused inflation to rise and locally that has been reflected in price increases, particularly of food.  Governments have had to increase public debt in order to increase spending on social protection to cushion the fallout in employment and household income. In Jamaica’s case, because of prudent management, we built up fiscal buffers and we were able to reallocate resources within our Budget to deliver a record of over 100 billion dollars of social protection and recovery support without increasing borrowing. I understand that for some listening this may not seem like a big deal, however, in the past, shocks such as a storm, or commodity price shocks as we experienced in the 1970’s and 80’s, or a global financial recession…

Prime Minister Andrew Holness Christmas Message 2021

December, 25 2021
Christmas is the most anticipated time of the year. It’s our Jamaican tradition to clean up, spruce up, and decorate our homes and communities, sometimes with a fresh coat of paint and some pepper light.  There is an increased buzz of activities, peaking in Grand Market; signaling the preparation for families coming together, gifts, good cheer, good food, merriment for some and quietude for others. I believe we all know that it will not be Christmas as usual. Though we are happy at the signs of recovery so far and optimistic that it will continue to be robust and sharp, there are many Jamaicans who have not yet recovered livelihoods or income. The disruption in global supply chains has negatively impacted the cost of living, both in the availability and price of goods.  The COVID-19 Pandemic has altered our way of life, attenuating our movements, gatherings and interactions.  It has impacted everyone in some way, whether it is: the pan chicken person who saw significant dips in their revenue, the river rafting operator or the hotel worker who saw their earnings dry up almost overnight when the travel and tourism industry initially faced a global shutdown, the frontline workers who have…